Remote Work Is More Normal Now that It Has Ever Been

Remote work is more common than ever before, but it wasn’t always this way. It’s still a relatively new method of operations, and while there are quite a few benefits for both employees and employers, there are other impacts related to remote work that can have far-reaching consequences.

We want to address some of the positive and negative impacts that this remote work trend has had on society.

Housing Costs and Availability May Balance Out

Big cities might have more opportunities for employment, but the cost of housing often makes it difficult for people to commit to employment opportunities in these areas. There is often a housing shortage in metropolitan areas, and as things stand now, the country is short almost 4 million homes (as of early 2021), with most of this shortage being located in places where these jobs are considered valuable.

 

Remote work, if the shift to full-time remote work is utilized, means that these jobs can be filled by people without requiring them to purchase or rent a home in these high-cost locations. Someone working remotely could work remotely for a company halfway across the country and live in a place where housing costs are significantly less expensive. Some experts believe that this trend would increase the cost of living in more rural or suburban areas while decreasing the costs associated with big city life.

 

However, if this is to become a reality, there needs to be a balance between the increased cost of more affordable housing and decreased cost of urban living. One example can be seen in the Tulsa Remote program, where Tulsa, Oklahoma residents are offered several perks—including a $10,000 grant—to all those remote workers who come to live in the city for at least one year. This type of investment means that Tulsa has been attracting new, high-earning residents, resulting in a return on their investment of $13.77 for each dollar spent on remote workers willing to relocate to the city.

The Climate Could Benefit

It’s reasonable to think that a decrease in urban living would lead to more vehicles on the road, as the decrease in public transportation access and walkable amenities would mean more people driving from one place to another. However, what if the opposite were true? What if having more people in these less-urban locations means that there would be greater incentive for these walkable amenities or greater demand for public transportation? The climate would surely benefit if this were the case.

 

Remote work has also led to a significant decrease in travel for many people, such as eliminating the morning commute, business travel, cross-country air travel, etc. All of these decreased emissions could do wonders for the environment.

Let’s Be Clear—We’re a Long Way from Ubiquitous Remote Work

We’ve discussed some of the obstacles, like changes in housing costs and zoning laws, but some places simply aren’t remote-friendly. Access to the Internet limits remote work capabilities for some people, especially when you consider that much of the country still doesn’t have access to broadband Internet.

 

Despite these obstacles, however, we are committed to helping your business make a shift to remote work, should you desire to make that change for your organization. To learn more, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.

Tip of the Week: Stop Overworking from Home

 

It’s quite possible for employees to overwork themselves, even in a remote environment. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can minimize remote overwork for your employees, especially as the boundaries typically set in place by the morning commute are eroded and work/life balance blurs.

 

First Off: Yes, Overwork is an Issue

Countless issues and workplace challenges have bubbled to the surface in recent years, including others that are much more divisive, like wage inequality and racial imbalances. However, these issues are much greater and more difficult to address in this format, and overwork presents a different challenge to overcome.

 

Overwork is a very real issue that can impact your organization in several different ways. Employees can grow fatigued, anxious, and physically ill with symptoms like headaches, pain, and vision problems. Too much remote work can also impact interpersonal communications. Add in the emotional stress and pressure caused by the pandemic and you have many employees walking around like ticking time bombs. All of this can create the perfect storm for destroying even the best worker’s productivity and performance.

 

The question must be asked, what can we do to help reduce overwork?

How to Help Diminish Remote Overwork

You might not be able to visit each of your workers individually, but you can implement policies that can keep them from overworking themselves in general, and it all starts by thinking about things not in terms of remote work policies, but in-house and remote policies.

1. Support the Use of a Schedule

We are not talking about just setting up a schedule outlining work hours; we also mean that you should help them to establish a workday routine that is manageable. Be sure to emphasize the importance of starting and ending the workday at consistent and appropriate times, and try to reinforce this consistency whenever you can. This helps to prevent employee burnout and overwork.

2. Use Time Tracking Tools

Time-tracking tools can help your team and keep them from overworking themselves, as you can take a look at where all of their time is being spent at a glance. A visual reminder of where they are in their seemingly-endless pile of tasks can be immensely helpful. COMPANYNAME can help you implement a time-tracking tool that will help your team stay on task and keep them from working themselves into the ground.

3. Encourage Your Team to Speak Up

Finally, you should empower your team to speak up if they feel their work requirements are becoming unreasonable. If they feel like they are overburdened or afraid to say no to more work, you need to know. Make sure they are comfortable coming to you about any concerns they might have so that you can address the issue at its roots without making it worse.

 

Point North networks, Inc., can help your team implement the tools it needs to succeed. To learn more, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.